Already a busy Legislature on health issues…

Bill hearings don’t really get started for a few more weeks, but that doesn’t mean the legislature is not already busy, conducting information hearings on a range of topics. And that also means that there’s already a sizable stack of useful documents to read. Health Access and our allies were most interested in three in the past few weeks:

One joint informational hearing of the Senate and Assembly Health Committees was on “Hospital Reimbursement Mechanisms.” This hearing, held on Friday, February 24, 2012, really went into some troublesome practices by hospital chains, particularly of Prime Health. Here’s the Agenda, in which we testified, and the other hearing materials:
Summary of Hearing
Briefing Paper
Vivian Wu (USC) Presentation
SEIU-UHW Presentation
Video of Hearing

Earlier this week, on Tuesday, March 6th, another joint hearing by both the Assembly and Senate Health Committees, focused on “Community Health Promotion and Disease Prevention,” which included many of the new opportunities under the Affordable Care Act. Here’s the agenda and background paper from that event, which included several of our allies, including the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, the Prevention Institute, the California Endowment, and others.

Finally, yesterday, Wednesday, May 7th, another joint hearing of the Assembly Aging and Long-Term Care Committee and the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services devled into the topic of “Long-term Care Integration and Medi-Cal Managed Care: The Future for Beneficiares, the Work Force, and our Health Care System.” The hearing’s agenda took testimony from a range of stakeholders on the issue, including us, particularly given the significant policy issues in the Governor’s Budget that seeks to shift hundreds of thousands more “dual-eligible” seniors and people with disabilities into Medi-Cal managed care. The committee background paper is online, as are many of the presentations and materials, which are all at the Assembly Budget website here.

It was an appropriate follow-up to a hearing a few months ago, last December 7th, which looked into how the existing transfer of seniors and people with disabilties was going, as part of the current Medicaid waiver. That joint informational hearing of the Senate and Assembly Health Committees was entitled, “The 2010 Medi-Cal Waiver and the Future of Seniors and People with Disabilities in the Medi-Cal Program.” The agenda and background paper is useful context as the Governor proposes to scale up and speed up this transition. We would spotlight the consumer concerns in the NLSLA Testimony by Katie Murphy, but here are other materials:
DHCS PPT: California’s Duals Demonstration
DHCS PPT: Seniors and Persons with Disabilities Transition into Medi-Cal Managed Care
Molina: Improving Our Members’ Access – Success Stories
California Focus Group Findings
Focus Group Release
TCC Statement by Elisa Nicholas
CalPACE Testimony by Jay Luxenberg
CMA Testimony by Dr. Gilbert Simon

So in the legislature, there’s a lot going on, as a prelude to the significant policy, legislative, and budget debates we’ll have this year in Sacramento.

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.